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the prince and the dressmaker


  • Paperback 
  • 288 pages
  • Published February 13th, 2018 by First Second
  • Original Title The Prince and the Dressmaker
  • ISBN162672363X (ISBN13: 9781626723634)
  • Edition Language English


  • Harvey Awards for Best Children or Young Adult Book AND nominated for Book of the Year (2018)
  •  Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Graphic Novels & Comics (2018)


From the publisher, “Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride―or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia―the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion!

Sebastian’s secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances―one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone’s secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend? Jen Wang weaves an exuberantly romantic tale of identity, young love, art, and family. A fairy tale for any age, The Prince and the Dressmaker will steal your heart”

My Thoughts

This book follows the story of two main characters, The Prince Sebastian as he comes to terms with who he is and what he enjoys doing. Sebastian enjoys dressing up in beautiful woman’s clothing, and Francis. Francis is a talented dressmaker and Sebastian’s best friend that creates works of art for him to wear. Together they explore friendship and navigate what it means to love someone unconditionally.

I fervently wish that books like this existed when I was a preteen/teenager. I think that if I have had access to literature of this quality and subject content, maybe the world would have not seemed so strange and foreign when I left my protective bubble as a child and became an adult. Not only is this book well written and beautifully executed, but it is also an important subject because people are people no matter how they want to dress, or how they see themselves.

“My whole life is other people deciding what’s acceptable. When I put on a dress, I get to decide what’s silly.” 

The Prince and the Dressmaker primarily deals with being different and how people will love you and accept you given half the chance. The prince is an enjoyer of beautiful clothes,  he likes big and beautiful dresses, specifically those of a seamstress that he has befriended. Together they form a partnership based on friendship and eventually love.

I love the partnership these two form, you can tell that these two not are attracted to each other, but that they genuinely enjoy each other companionship. The ease in which Wang wrote their scenes has an effervescent lightness that made it so sweet to read without ever straying into saccharin territory.  This story is the perfect blend of sweetness, authenticity, joy, sadness and ultimately love overlayed with Jen Wang’s gorgeous illustrations.

Even though the Prince and the Dressmaker is marketed to teenagers and young adults, I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone. It is on a rare occasion that a book could appeal to so many readers equally and for all different reasons. It is beautifully done, and a short read. You won’t be disappointed in its content.

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